Are you having troubles getting your Twitter followers to engage with you? This is a very common problem; just try searching “How to increase engagement on Twitter” and you’re sure to get about a million different answers (O.K. – so maybe a couple thousand).
I’ve taken the liberty to go through the first couple pages of search results to try to solve this conundrum. In full disclosure, I’m also trying to learn the tricks of improving this illusive engagement thing, so while I give you these tips I’ve also put some of them to the test. The results are still pending. But first, here are the tips I believe hold a strong possibility of success for your business.
1.) Ask for a Retweet
This is almost too easy to seem real, but article after article states this. By simply asking people to retweet or favorite your post, you will increase your engagement rate. According to HubSpot's "Science of Social Media" research, using the words "Please ReTweet" in your tweets will generate 4x more retweets.
Think about it. If you see a post with helpful information that you find valuable and you’re on the brink of retweeting it, and then you see “retweet”, chances are that will be the last straw that tips you over the edge. The human race is an indecisive bunch of hairy people. Help them make their decisions and they’ll help you in return.
2.) Let Your Personality Shine
Nothing will kill your engagement more than tweets that are only trying to sell something or sound like a commercial. Be real. Show flaws. Make jokes. Talk about the weather. Showcase your company’s personality and your followers will continue to love you. By “being real” it makes it easier for your followers to view your tweets as if they’re looking at a friend’s, and thus it’s that much easier to hit that almighty “favorite” or “retweet” button.
3.) Keep it Short and Sweet
We’re all guilty of using as many characters as possible when we tweet, which was doubled to 280 characters for most Twitter applications in 2017. Heck. Most of the time we spend five minutes trying to change “and” to “&” and “tomorrow” to “tmrw” to save a few characters. Stop it!
Most of the time you can accomplish your goal with half of the number of characters. For example, you can change “Watch this video on how Brian conquered his biggest fear” to “Watch Brian conquer his fears!” Not only does this shorten them up and make them easier to retweet, but the shortened versions often create a bigger impact. Try it out on your next few tweets and you’ll be amazed at how much more powerful they sound!
Shorter tweets have an advantage other than being more powerful. Shorter tweets – around 100 characters – allow for someone retweeting your post to add their own thoughts to it. This may not seem like a big deal, but just as you want to be heard by your followers, your followers want to be heard by theirs too! By being able to provide their own thoughts they are more likely to retweet your post and, who knows, maybe even use those extra characters to compliment whatever you’re sharing!
4.) Know When to Tweet
Not only do you need to know what to say, but you also should keep in mind when you upload your content. Buffer looked at 4.8 million tweets across 10,000 profiles and here’s what they found:
Early bird hours are better for clicks
Evenings and late nights are more optimal for favorites and retweets
On average, noon to 1:00 p.m. local time is the prime slot to tweet
The fewest tweets are sent between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.
On one hand, the most popular times to tweet means that there will be more users on the social platform. On the contrary, there will be a lot of content roaming around that you’ll have to compete with. Try experimenting with which times receive the best results for you.
5.) Use Actionable Words
Using actionable words such as “download”, “free trial”, and “sign up now” are shown to increase the number of clicks your tweets receive. Twitter has stated that using actionable words will increase clicks by 13 percent on average. If 13 percent isn’t something that catches your eye, then you may want to go update your eyeglass prescription.
6.) Get Visual and Creative - Post Pictures!
The saying is a hundred years old – a picture is worth a thousand words. Adding a picture to your post is one of the easiest ways to catch someone’s attention as they scroll through their newsfeed. Twitter is slowly becoming more visual, but there are still a large number of tweets that are text only.
By adding an image to your post you are not only better able to catch your followers’ attention, but you’re also able to communicate more information than just what your 280 characters allow. Buffer found that sharing images on Twitter increases retweets by 150%.
It’s also shown that tweets that contain a photo receive higher engagement rates. CoSchedule states that users will engage at a 5X higher rate when you include an image, so make sure your tweets contain a photo!
7.) Get your Links in Early
Twitter is likely one of the most updated sites on the internet. According to Internet Live Stats, there are approximately 8,287 tweets sent in ONE SECOND. Holy crap. That’s a lot. Since there is new content being generated every second, people tend to have short attention spans on the platform. The goal of most business tweets is to get your followers to click on your link. Often times we tend to throw that link in at the end of our message.
We need to start trying to include our links closer to the beginning of our tweets. Put in your key message first, then add your link. After you have your link included you can go on to add in opinions and afterthoughts. By focusing on the key message first you are gaining the attention of those who want to hear your message, and then allowing them to click on your link before bombarding them with your thoughts and opinions.
These seven Twitter best practices are listed over and over again in a variety of different sources. Like I mentioned before, I’m going to put some of these to the test and see if they actually improve our engagement rate or not. I hope you test at least a few of these tips out yourself and let me know if it works in the comments section below!
With a passion for helping, both consumers and businesses, I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to create engaging social posts and interactions that start a prospect on their inbound journey. As the Inbound Social Lead, I utilize my social media and interpersonal skills to develop and nurture one-on-one relationships between a business and their customers. When I'm not at the office, I enjoy spending time outdoors (fishing and floating on a tube are my favorite) or crafting on my kitchen table.